Archive for August 17th, 2020

Monday, August 17, 2020

Isaiah 49

The Cup of the Lord

Hear me, O coastlands, listen, o distant peoples . . . Thus begins this chapter in which the prophet laments his role as servant of the Lord. The cup from which he must drink has become too bitter. He is exhausted from the repeated warnings he delivers to deaf ears. He believes that God has made him a sharped-edged sword and hidden him under his arm, a polished bow hidden in the quiver. He believes that he has toiled in vain and yet he knows that his reward is with the Lord. 

Although this servant of God suffers as he drinks this difficult cup of salvation, he knows that God has promised to make him a light to all nations and the chosen one of God. This servant understands that through him lies the liberation and restoration of many for God pities them and leads them and guides them besides springs of water. Still, the work of the prophet-servant is difficult, dangerous and heavy. It exhausts even those who come to the task full of vigor and strength. Yet despite this lament . . . God persists in calling.

Look about and see, they are gathering and coming to you . . . Those who hope in me shall never be disappointed. It is more difficult for the faithful servant to walk away from this important work than it is to persist. And so the prophet perseveres. All mankind shall know that I, the Lord, am your savior, your redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob. 

We know that Jesus comes to do God’s will, to restore and redeem, to defend and save. But do we think of ourselves as suffering servants alongside the tireless Jesus?

We know that Jesus is the Son of God. But do we know that we are God’s adopted children created in God’s image?

We know that we – like Isaiah – are now exhausted from the work we do in God’s name. But do we ask Jesus to shoulder the burden with us and to carry us on his own broad shoulders?

The suffering servant is Jesus who is the Messiah. We too will suffer as we serve. Yet we too will become the pathway of freedom and redemption for many. We too will gather many who want to come to God. We too are descendants of Jacob. We too are children of God.

Go to the online Bible dictionary at: http://bibledictionaries.com/ , enter the words suffering servant, and explore the concept of one who drinks from the Lord’s Cup.

Image from: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/eucharist-our-sustenance-st-gaudentius/attachment/gaudentius-eucharist-our-sustenance/

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